How to Make a Jewelry Box from an Altoids Tin

Making the Altoids Tin Jewelry Box

Desiree adds embellishments like feet made of clay balls to the bottom of her Altoids tin (shown upside down).
Desiree adds embellishments like feet made of clay balls to the bottom of her Altoids tin (shown upside down).
Courtesy Desiree McCrorey

One of the keys to making Desiree's Altoids tin jewelry box successfully is ensuring that the tin is as clean as possible. The cleaner the tin is, the better the polymer clay will stick to it.

Once you've cleaned your Altoids tin, find a large piece of wax paper to use as your work surface. Flatten a piece of polymer clay into a thin sheet. Lay the tin upside down and apply the clay sheet to one edge of the bottom of the tin. Gently follow the clay with your finger as you apply the clay carefully from one edge of the tin to the other. This helps the clay adhere to the tin and prevents the formation of air bubbles. (If you find any air bubbles, prick them with a needle, gently work the air out and cover the hole with the surrounding clay.) Roll over the clay sheet with a Lucite roller and flip the tin back over. Cut the excess clay from the tin's edges with a sharp blade.

With the top side up, apply another flattened sheet of clay to the tin's top, including the surface and sides. Roll the clay out with the Lucite roller. Trim the excess clay by turning the tin onto its top and cutting away at it with a blade.

For the sides of the top and the bottom pieces of the hinged Altoids tin, use flattened strips of clay measuring 11 1/2 inches (29 centimeters) long by five-sixteenths of an inch (0.8 cm) wide for the top sides and 11 1/2 inches (29 centimeters) long by ten-sixteenths of an inch (1.6 cm) wide for the bottom sides. Use the same procedure to apply clay to the top and bottom of the tin. When the tin's completely covered with polymer clay, use an X-Acto knife to cut scores along the sides and top of the hinges to allow them to function properly. Wait until the box has been fired and cooled to actually remove the clay from the hinges.

Now it's time to embellish the jewelry box. For her project, Desiree rolled out clay ropes to accent the top and bottom edges, along with pearl-sized clay balls to use as ornamentation. She also added clay feet made from flattened pearls to the bottom of the tin.

When it's ready to be fired, place the item into an oven that's been preheated to 275 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (135 to 149 degrees Celsius). Bake for 45 minutes, allow time for cooling and you've got yourself an Altoids tin jewelry box.

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  • DeVoto, Jeanne A. E. "Polymer clay FAQ." The Polymer Clay Spot. Accessed July 9, 2009.
  • McCrorey, Desiree. "How to cover an Altoids tin." Desired Creations. August 2, 2008.
  • McCrorey, Desiree. Personal correspondence. May 18, 2008.